When it comes to U.S. drinking water, there are millions of different contaminants which can, over time, affect the health of those who consume it. This problem is found all over the country, though it can be different in different places. In the southwestern U.S., for example, there is the danger of arsenic contamination in water supplies; wherever there is old lead piping (which was installed in homes right up to the 1980s and remains in millions of properties) then gradual lead poisoning becomes a problem.
It is really no wonder that millions of Americans are turning to alternative water products such as hydrogen or purified water, and it’s no surprise that a home water filtration system is a very popular installation for American homeowners. Some even turn to well water to avoid the perils of U.S. municipal drinking water.
One of the more visually alarming of the potential components are tannins. These are not the most harmful contaminants, but they do have a strong color and taste. The result? You turn the faucet on and out comes a stream of disgusting brown water that tastes pretty funky too. Nobody wants that.
There are, however, options if your home is suffering from this pretty unacceptable water problem.
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What Are Tannins?
But what are tannins? The first thing to note is that they are organic compoundsderived from decomposing plants. They are abundant, for example, in any cup of tea – which gives the tea its dark color and actually confers many of the health benefits which tea has. Thus, we are not talking here about some seriously dangerous pesticides or heavy metal contamination. That said, if your water is coming out the faucet brown with tannin content, then it is clear that whatever filtration system it has gone through is pretty inadequate – and that means there could be all sorts of other things in there.
Tannins themselvesare not dangerous. They get into water when it passes through any surface areas where there is the presence of decaying plants. Often, when a river is deemed badly polluted on account of a brown color, it is actually the tannin content which accounts for that.
Tannins do though make the water look and taste bad. It might be generally considered an aesthetic issue, but it is unacceptable to millions. For one thing, they can discolor all your laundry!
So, what can you do about it? In many cases, not much! This is not to say that nothing can be done, but it usually needs to be the work of municipal treatment plants. It is the ion-exchange systems which are most efficient at removing tannins. This only workswith extensive pretreatment. Water must be softened, go through UV sterilizers, and generally undergo much treatment before the tannins can be removed.
At home, you could install a reverse osmosis filtration system. This will do some good but again much pretreatment, which is out of your hands, is required before tannins can be significantly reduced. As things stand there fore alternative water sources are a common choice for those suffering from excessive tannins in their drinking water. Synergy Science, a company specializing in precisely such products, say that this is indeed that which drives much public interest in their products.
If it were not for the taste, it would maybe be possible to simply accept tannins. But for drinking and cooking food, the taste of the water you use is rather important. And let’s face it, while the brown color is purely an aesthetic issue, nobody wants that coming out of their faucets.